Chicago Tribune: Stephanie Altman

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Stephanie Altman politely criticizes the federal government for suspending a program that would have helped families to care for their elderly members. Seems like every time the government cuts a social program, many of us react by saying you bailed out the auto industry, insurance companies, banks, and Wall Street. Why can’t you help the people who purchased goods and services from these GIANTS or help these same people to remain in their homes until better times come.

A long-term care crisis

The front page story, “A Long Term Care Crisis” (Dec. 1), is a thoughtful and moving illustration of the struggles families face to care for loved ones as they become unable to care for themselves due to illness or age(decreased mental capacity). Health & Disability Advocates works with many families like the ones profiled who want to care for their parents at home but are unable to shoulder the financial cost.
The CLASS Act, which was suspended by the federal government last month, would have provided, for the first time, an employee benefit to cover a portion of the costs of long-term care. Unfortunately, many considered the program too costly and unsustainable. We believe the benefits contemplated under the CLASS Act are still desperately needed, and that over time, the program could have been funded through adequate employer participation and employee contributions.Now we will never know.— Stephanie Altman, Program and Policy Director for Health & Disability Advocates, Chicago
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